Smoothie Bowls

Smoothie Bowls

Posted 2018 Jun
M McKenzie Bauer

Can you believe it, it’s finally SUMMER! I am #blessed to live in Hawaii where summer is never-ending, but many of you have to work hard for your sunny summers! What better way to spend the summer than with a creamy acai bowl topped with toasted pecan & coconut granola?! I dare say there is no better way.

Acai bowls are my staple breakfast around here. It is such a refreshing wake up to the day, plus you feel like you are eating dessert for breakfast! That’s my idea of a win-win. Most days I keep it simple and just top it with granola, banana and whatever else I have in the fridge, but today I had all the goods! It is the perfect breakfast because it's delicious and keeps me full throughout my classes/ workouts. I make so many variations with the acai, but this one is my absolute favorite! I always add greens to my bowls because you can't even taste them and it's such an easy way to pack in nutrients right when you wake up!

My favorite add-ins are spinach, chard, or kale. I keep the base pretty simple and add 1 packet of acai (sub ½ cup frozen berries if you don’t have acai), 1 frozen banana, ½ cup of almond milk (more or less depending on preference), and a heaping handful of spinach. Adding frozen banana to the smoothies makes them so creamy! Most days I just use frozen berries, but when I have the acai it takes it to the next level. This will make one very large bowl or a medium bowl for two! I'm OBSESSED with toppings. I always put way more toppings than a normal human should on my smoothies, ice cream, and salads because it just makes it taste that much better! My favorite toppings are raspberries, banana, strawberries, chopped almonds, homemade granola, chia seeds, coconut, and sometimes a drizzle of 100% pure honey.

WARNING: Once you make homemade granola you will NEVER be able to go back to the store-bought kind. If you are not prepared to make your own from now on, turn away now! You might think I am exaggerating, but NO. This granola is perfect for snacking, topping on a smoothie bowl, or in a bowl with your milk of choice. It is sugar-free and packed with superfoods! I noticed that even the majority of "healthy" granolas still packed their product with sugar, too much sweetener, and not enough nutrients. Granola is a perfect method to add whatever supplements you'd like because it blends all the flavor so well. I add flax seed, chia seed, and hemp seed to mine for a little extra nutritional value in each bite. This granola is whole grain, made with coconut oil and sugar-free. I have messed around with this recipe dozens of times and have finally perfected the ratio of nuts to oats to sweetener to cinnamon. It's basically everything I've ever wanted in a granola and now you can have it right in your kitchen! I store my extra granola in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

Break down of the ingredients:

Old Fashion Oats: These oats will keep their shape during baking. They are an awesome base for a hearty granola! Nuts and Seeds: I use pecans and almonds, which are full of omega 3's. I love the taste of toasted pecans, it's seriously addicting!

Coconut Oil: I love coconut oil because it adds the perfect crisp to the toppings. It is a healthy fat and loaded with goodness.

Sweetener: I love doing a mix of 100% pure maple syrup and organic honey. You can do one or the other, I just love the taste of both! Spices: Sea salt adds the perfect pop to the granola and really makes the flavors come out! I love the cinnamon in the mix, it just adds the necessary extra flavor. I love the addition of vanilla to the mix also. I sometimes add a pinch of nutmeg also.

Fruit: Unsweetened chunks of coconut are my go-to fruit addition! When they get slightly browned and toasted the flavor really pops. You can also add dried cranberries or blueberries!

Add-ins: I love adding chia seeds, ground flaxseeds, and hemp seeds. It's such an easy way to add some extra nutrients to your granola! Now you have everything you need to make the perfect acai bowl!

This will become a summer staple! Enjoy, happy eating!

Acai Base:

● 1 frozen acai packet (sub ½ cup frozen)
● ¼ cup frozen mixed berries
● 1 frozen banana
● Heaping handful of spinach
● ¼ cup almond milk (more or less to preference)

For the Acai base:
1. In a blender, combine acai, frozen berries, almond milk, frozen banana and spinach. I blend on low and stir throughout for a more creamy texture. Add more liquid if the smoothie is too thick.
2. Top with all your favorite ingredients and enjoy

Toasted Pecan & Granola:

● 4 cups of old-fashioned oats
● 1 1/2 cups of raw pecans (chopped)
● 1/2 cup of almonds (chopped)
● 3/4 cup of shredded coconut (unsweetened)
● 2 tsp ground cinnamon● 1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
● 1 tsp sea salt
● 1 tsp vanilla
● 1/4 cup pure honey
● 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
● 1/4 cup ground flaxseed (optional)
● 2 Tbsp. chia seeds (optional)
● 2 Tbsp. hemp seeds (optional

For the Granola:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients: the oats, pecans, almonds, salt, cinnamon, coconut, flaxseed, chia seed, and hemp seeds. Stir well to combine.
2. Pour in the wet ingredients: coconut oil, honey, maple syrup, and vanilla. Mix well until evenly coated. Pour the mixture onto the baking sheet and spread out evenly with a spoon. Bake 22-24 minutes, or until golden. Stir halfway to evenly crisp. Once you remove the granola from the oven it will continue to crisp.
3. Let the granola cool before serving. Store in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Additional toppings:

● Raspberries
● Strawberries
● Banana
● Chopped almonds
● Almond butter
● Chia seeds
● 100% pure honey

Follow @maddiecastellano on Instagram for more recipes!! 

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